Monday, 9 November 2015
Someone commented yesterday that this image was 'creative madness'. Ha! Obviously I have no control over what happens in the mind of someone looking at an image and I absolutely wouldn't want to. This is not a conduit model - there's no communication 'of something' from my mind and intentions to any viewer. This is the very thing I love about images, especially ambiguous or symbolic ones. I think of myself as setting up conditions for a person's mind to go on a voyage inside itself.
In terms of the generation of images, or other kinds of creativity, there's often a popular idea that people who make stuff have particularly fecund imaginations, or are 'creative' in a particular way. Anyone who makes things knows, however, that they steal from and are influenced by everything around them all the time. I'm influenced by and consciously/unconsciously drawing on a tradition that's not familiar to many people in my cultural context.
It's a tradition that portrays the human being as a cosmic diagram, mapped onto the universe...
...which uses a diagram of the cosmic man as the foundation of the temple...
...which has skeletons dancing with fleshly humans...
I'm very interested in this part-animal, part-human thing, in a time when we're battling the legacy of Christian ideas of human 'dominion' over the natural world. I remembered it again recently in relation to the Egyptian tradition. How was the relationship between animals and humans seen at a time when the highest powers were seen to take animal, or part-animal, form (and when musical instruments had human heads)?
From my point of view, I'm dealing with the questions that these images raise for me - large questions about the universe, and the place of humans in that universe. And also, I begin to realise, about the beauty and horror of existence. That the condor will peck your eye out as soon as look at you, as well as making a beautiful silhouette in the sky; that your friend can be suddenly and inexplicably taken from you.
'Wild, sensual, raw, alive; showing me the human body in both the maddening limitation of its actuality - muscle, blood, chemicals, brain and bone - and its passionate, empowered glory as the wild and beautiful vehicle we shine through'.
Just in case you were wondering.